How hard can printing labels really be, anyway? Well, that level of thinking ignores some true realities confronting warehouse operations both today and into the future.
The acceleration of warehouse automation and systems means that labels play an integral part in warehouse speed and overall efficiency to pick, pack and ship.
It only takes one wrong label to shake the entire warehouse labeling system to its core. A labeling and sign failure takes its toll, both on an emotional and financial level. Your warehouse workers are already stretched thin with their current duties and timelines. Do you want to burden them with additional pressure to perform warehouse labeling as well?
Smart warehouse managers should look at all their options (both in-house and working with external vendors) to make the best and most efficient choice in warehouse labeling.
To help you make an informed decision, here are the 3 warning signs your warehouse labeling operations may be headed for real trouble…
Warning Sign #1: Doing it All Yourself
In the past, warehouse operators could get away with making labeling and sign production a low priority. In the old days, inventory and shipping were handled much differently than they are now. Delivery timeframes had some padding in them as well.
Today it’s all about direct fulfillment, quick turnaround, no dedicated spaces for products and the WMS informed warehouse personnel where the product is located. Those shifts are a lot of change for a warehouse operation to successfully implement.
Of course, personnel can’t locate the right products efficiently if the warehouse labeling isn’t correct and easily scannable, especially from far greater heights and distances. These are just some of the problems that can arise that you likely didn’t expect. And when they do surface, the pressure immediately falls on in-house staff to get it right.
Here’s the simple truth: you are in the warehouse operations business, not the warehouse labeling business. No wonder the entire labeling deployment process can take weeks longer when handled in-house compared to working with an expert authority like Imprint.
And while printing labels is a part of the process, other factors reveal even greater importance and urgency. First, where are the labels deployed? And how quickly? Is there a system of checks and balances to make sure the entire process is error-free from beginning to end? And what about future updates should the warehouse location expand, move or open a new facility?
It’s questions like these that demand the right answers at the right time in the right way.
Here’s yet one more factor holding you back: producing labels in-house limits the full spectrum of labels and signs that are available today. Fortunately, working with a professional printer provides far more designs and label/sign styles to best handle the job. Someone like Imprint who knows the territory.
Warning Sign #2: No Tested, Proven System and Process
When your warehouse workers are hired, are they required to have extensive knowledge of warehouse labeling from start to finish? If your warehouse is like many others, warehouse personnel simply haven’t gone through the entire labeling process. As a result, how could they possibly understand the many complexities of labeling and signing a facility?
At Imprint, our warehouse labeling systems have been battle-tested against the most rigorous go-live dates imaginable. What we’ve learned from thousands of warehouse labeling projects is substantial. And it all begins with the vital importance of a proven process.
At Imprint, we start with a label and sign installation survey (this process eliminates errors.) Imprint’s turnkey process provides peace of mind to warehouse operators every step of the way.
The process has three key parts:
- Proposal preparation
We’ll explore those three phases deeper in the next article in the series titled the 5 Signs of a Successful Warehouse Label Ecosystem.
For now, know this: when you choose to do it right the first time with Imprint you have a blueprint for future success with labeling updates.
Warning Sign #3: Your Go LIVE Date is a Dead End
Companies establish go-live dates for a reason. Everything hinges on key milestones and deadlines being met so the company can successfully launch its operations. And naturally, the warehouse and product fulfillment are front and center. Because missing the go-live date has real-world consequences, from lost revenues to personnel changes and more.
And yet many warehouse operators get off on the wrong foot and only compound errors throughout the labeling process. The likely culprit is out-of-date or incorrect label data.
That’s why Imprint starts with a current data file and from that builds the right systems and processes to execute a successful label operation.
We know everything is riding on the go-live date and that a labeling system failure can derail it all. Considering that Imprint has met thousands of go-live dates, why take the risk?
Trust the Warehouse Labeling Experts
We’ve covered the three warning signs that a warehouse labeling project could be in trouble. We’ve also provided some proof points on how to avoid a potential labeling disaster. We even spotlighted the challenges of warehouse labeling in-house vs. working with a trusted expert like Imprint.
So now that you’ve learned exactly what not to do, what’s next? Why not discover the 5 Signs of a Successful Warehouse Label Ecosystem?
This is the last article in our three-part series. Missed the previous articles? To get the full picture on warehouse labeling from start to finish, check out